My name is Esther Cleary. I graduated from Xavier University in the spring of 2011. I studied in the Philosophy, Politics & the Public honors program as well as Political Science while at Xavier. I became interested in the city of my fellowship while taking a history class on the history of cities and their conflicts today. I presented the book Natural Capitalism. This book presented Curitiba, Brazil as a case study for socially progressive, economically viable sustainable cities.
The authors presented Curitiba as an oasis of social programs and reduced carbon footprints. My interest in sustainable cities, like Curitiba, lies in my desire to recreate in unique and personal ways their success in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am further interested in where Curitiba's social programs fail. Do these failures stem from racial discord or ecological limits, or both?
I have worked in city government and non-profits. For my next step, I would like to work at an organization (non-profit or otherwise) which uses the structure of city government while providing services back to that government.
My research into Curitiba began with the book Natural Capitalism and continues today. I have largely read academic journal articles and books concentrating both on the idea of natural capitalism and the city of Curitiba.
I will travel to and live just outside the city center. My residence is a five minute walk to the nearest bus stop. I want to explore the city from the everyday person's level- travel using the public busing system only. My studies will continue at the Federal University of Parana. This university has a state of the art urban planning school. My contacts with professors here, many of them the authors of the books I read for have allowed me to sit in on classes and have personal time with them.
I will then study the social tensions associated with government programs as the city reaches is limit for population allowances. I hope this will become the crux of my project and will assist me in determining where Cincinnati officials can learn from tensions associated with well meaning and somewhat successful government programs.
What They're Doing Now
Currently I live in downtown Cincinnati. I continue to prepare for travel in the next few months. My research has begun to take on another subject matter- the lack of desire for sustainability initiatives amongst the general public.